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Richard Garnier

Richard Garnier

Investment Partner at Goose Valley Ventures
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Bio Accomplished Financial Services and Technology business leader, board advisor and investor. Broad and deep international experience of working in the information technology and financial services industries. Strong entrepreneurial background having co-founded/built 9 start ups and held senior positions in 3 multi-nationals. Highly conversant in Payments, Crypto, FinTech, InsurTech, and RegTech. Investor with abundant exposure to capital raising, buying and selling companies. Skilled in Business Leadership, Digital Transformation, Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Asset Management, Business Transformation, and Management. Career History Goose Valley Ventures, Investment Partner; SpeeedInvest , Limited Partner, Aryze BVI Board Member, Arcane Crypto, Senior Advisor, Fount, Senior Advisor, Thomson Reuters CEO Nordics, Allianz Trade, CEO Credable, Financial Times Group, Sales Director, Internet Securites, Managing Director Europe

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European Parliament paper pours cold water on digital euro

  The recent paper prepared for the European Parliament, titled "Digital Euro: When in doubt, abstain (but be prepared)," offers a cautious stance on the potential launch of a digital euro. While the paper acknowledges the risks associated with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), it fails to recognize the opportunities presented by private stable coins and proxy CBDCs. As a stablecoin issuer, ARYZE has a unique perspective on the matter. We agree that the risks of rolling out a CBDC far outweigh the benefits, especially considering the lack of consensus among central banks on the definition and implementation of CBDCs. The current exploration into CBDCs appears to be an extreme reaction to the rise of cryptocurrencies and a fear of being left behind. However, we believe that the future of digital currencies lies in the democratization of money, where programmable money and stable coins can be issued in various formats without the direct involvement of national banks. Central banks cannot issue CBDCs as true programmable money that operates on open-source blockchains; this would enable people to trade them on third-party exchanges, inadvertently creating a new scarce instrument or forcing central banks to mint digital currency parallel to traditional printing. The paper rightly points out that launching a digital euro would put the European Central Bank (ECB) in a new position of offering a new payment instrument in competition with banks and other payment service providers. However, this is precisely the reason why central banks should not directly issue CBDCs. A government-issued CBDC would outcompete existing banks and payment providers, disrupting the established infrastructure. ARYZE believes in the potential of private stable coins and proxy CBDCs as a viable alternative. This approach supports the improvement of existing infrastructure and promotes interoperability among banks, central banks, and financial service providers. Countries like Denmark and Sweden have already adopted fully digital and modern infrastructures for digital money management, providing a model for other nations to follow. Contrary to the paper's assertion that a digital euro would not increase financial inclusion, we believe that Europe, particularly Scandinavia, should be at the forefront of digital currency innovation. By leaning on our legacy infrastructure and not pursuing new services and solutions, we risk falling behind countries like China that are forging ahead in the digital currency space. In conclusion, it is essential that we shift the digital currency paradigm away from direct central bank involvement and focus on improving existing infrastructure while embracing private stable coins and proxy CBDCs. This approach will not only mitigate the risks outlined in the European Parliament's paper but will also pave the way for a more efficient, inclusive, and innovative digital currency landscape. Board member, ARYZE

EU finance ministers take stock of digital euro; UK scepticism grows

  I have read your article about the Eurogroup's stance on the digital euro and I have some concerns about their approach. You mention that the Eurogroup emphasizes privacy as a key dimension in the design of a digital euro, while also complying with other policy objectives such as preventing money laundering, illicit financing, tax evasion, and ensuring sanctions compliance. This already shows where they want to go with CBDCs. In contrast, stablecoins and cryptocurrencies in general can be accessed by all. If a future CBDC has to include protections against money laundering, tax evasion, and other things related to compliance, they will have the same challenges that banks face today, and it won't help with financial inclusion, as many of the unbanked around the world would just become un-CBDCed. The thing about crypto, stablecoins, and CBDCs is that they should be seen as an infrastructure element, to elevate web2 to web3. But the whole idea of every single person having to protect their digital assets on their phones is as naive as thinking that a centralized government-controlled CBDC is the way to privacy, freedom, and democracy. Instead of focusing on preventing money laundering, illicit financing, and tax evasion, governments should focus on creating a legal and regulatory framework that encourages the responsible use of digital currencies and supports innovation. The article also mentions that interoperability with other Central Bank Digital Currencies is viewed as another touchstone, but the reality is that most central banks are not aligned in their approach. This lack of consensus and agreement shows that one CBDC wouldn't easily speak to another without oracles and middlemen, and then we are back to what we already have today. Lastly, I disagree with the statement that the environmental impact of digital currencies is as important as hinted, as it is minimal when compared to traditional banking, fiat & card systems. Instead of worrying about the environmental impact of digital currencies, governments should focus on the environmental benefits of digital currencies, such as reduced paper usage and energy consumption, utilization of excess energy, such as wind turbines at night, solar during the day, or the placement of mining farms in areas with natural energy. I hope my comments provide a different perspective on the topic, and I would appreciate your thoughts on my points